The Biggest At-Home Fall Risks
As your loved one ages, it’s important to consider the dangers they may face within their household. Mobility struggles, health conditions, or cognitive decline is often associated with higher fall risks, turning familiar environments into hazards when not properly maintained.
The compassionate experts at Placita In Home Care are here to help you identify risks and create a safer space for your loved ones.
Managing Fall Risks at Home
In order to protect your loved one from potential dangers in their home, it’s essential to understand the factors that may pose a risk to their safety.
By understanding what puts them in harm’s way, you can prepare their home environment in a mindful way that promotes a life free of accidents and injuries. Here are common fall risks within the home:
- Poor lighting, as it reduces their ability to see obstacles
- Clutter or loose objects, such as rugs or electrical cords
- Slippery floors, such as bathroom tiles
- Inadequate footwear with insufficient grip
- Staircases or other uneven surfaces
In some cases, a senior’s home may be perfectly safe. However, their health may be the culprit that is putting their safety in jeopardy. Certain medications your loved one may take can cause side effects, such as dizziness that may increase the risk of falling.
Vision problems or muscle weakness and poor balance may also contribute to an accident, and should be addressed immediately.
While falls are the leading cause of injuries for seniors, there are several ways to combat this occurrence. Once you have identified the hazards within their home or the health conditions that may increase their fall risk, it’s time to take preventative action to reduce the likelihood of falls and injuries.
Speak With a Doctor
The first step toward creating a safer living situation is to ensure your loved one visits their doctor to discuss their concerns and learn strategies that help them cope with the potential side effects of their medications.
We recommend making a list of medications and having your loved one’s doctor explain the side effects and interactions that may increase the risk of accidents.
During this appointment, it is also important for your loved one to disclose any previous falls, including how and where they fell, so their doctor can provide them with strategies to prevent the incident from reoccurring.
Get a Health Evaluation
If you or your loved one feels as though they may be experiencing a sudden spike in dizziness or light-headedness, it may be time to consult a doctor for a health evaluation. Your loved one’s doctor will be able to use the symptoms they’ve been experiencing to assess potential health concerns and find appropriate senior care solutions to control the situation in a safe and effective manner.
While it may sound contradictory, ensuring your loved one stays active can be beneficial in helping prevent accidents.
Gentle exercise such as regular walks, dancing, and other moderate physical activities help to strengthen the muscles, promote balance, and enhance coordination and flexibility, which in turn help combat the risk of falls.
It is not uncommon for seniors to avoid movement for fear of falling. However, that may actually increase the risk. It’s important for your loved one to consult with their physician before engaging in physical activity to understand what kind of movement is safe for their body.
Choose Sensible Shoes
Heels may have always been your loved one’s favorite statement piece; however, with age, mobility declines, and the balance they once had in their beloved high-heeled shoes may not be what it once was.
Furthermore, floppy slippers and ballerina flats with sleek soles may also be dangerous, as they do not provide sufficient grip.
Take your loved one shopping for sensible shoes that are both comfortable and supportive, with an adequate grip that aids in keeping them balanced and sturdy.
Additionally, proper footwear may also help alleviate other aches and pains they may be experiencing, keeping them safe and pain-free.
Identify Dangers in the Home
You may not realize that certain aspects of the home can become profoundly dangerous as you get older. A decorative rug that once served as a pleasant statement piece is now a trip hazard, and the electrical cords that connect to the TV are more than just an inconvenience now.
Here are several steps you can take to secure the home and reduce the risk of falls:
- Secure electrical cords against the wall and remove them from walkways.
- Remove tables, racks, plants, and other objects out of the path of high-traffic areas and place them against walls.
- Secure loose rugs using double-sided tape or remove them from the home.
- Address any loose floorboards or uneven surfaces.
- Keep clothes, dishes, and other daily needs within easy reach to avoid climbing or reaching.
- Immediately mop and dry wet areas to avoid slips.
Improve the Lighting
Vision problems are a common side effect of aging. Therefore, it’s important to illuminate the home in any way possible to enable your loved one to have a clear view of the obstacles that may lie ahead of them.
It is recommended to place night lights in bedrooms, hallways, and common rooms and to keep a lamp close to the bed for easy access.
Additionally, it’s crucial to turn the lights on prior to taking the stairs or navigating a more cluttered area.
Keeping flashlights accessible, such as in drawers near the bed or on the coffee table in the living room, may also be beneficial.
Implement Assistive Devices
Your loved one’s doctor may recommend assistive devices, but even if they don’t, it’s better to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to preventing falls.
A walker is an excellent addition to help your loved one move around in a safe and efficient manner. However, you may also implement assistive home features, such as:
- Stairway handrails
- Grab rails in the bathroom
- A raised toilet seat
- Non-slip treads for stairs
- A secure seat in the shower or bath
- Non-slip bath mats
- A hand-held shower nozzle
Home Safety Evaluations
Your loved one’s health and well-being are precious. Therefore, it’s important to take responsible steps toward preserving their safety and comfort as they age.
Placita In Home Care is here to help with our comprehensive home safety evaluations that are designed to identify risks within the home and correct them for optimal security.
Home safety evaluations may be beneficial for a range of individuals, including people who live alone, people who are undergoing joint replacement care, people who have recently been discharged from the hospital, or people who have experienced one too many close calls.
Get the Senior Care You Need With Placita In Home Care
As we age, our needs change, and we may require a little more attention and support. That’s where Placita In Home Care comes in.
Our compassionate experts lend our senior care knowledge and our passion for helping families live their most fulfilling lives through a range of in-home care services that greatly improve their quality of life.
Contact our friendly team today to discuss how we can help you thrive at home while reducing the risk of accidents.